The November 2009 Daring Bakers Challenge was chosen and hosted by Lisa Michele of Parsley, Sage, Desserts and Line Drives. She chose the Italian Pastry, Cannolo (Cannoli is plural), using the cookbooks Lidia’s Italian-American Kitchen by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and The Sopranos Family Cookbook by Allen Rucker; recipes by Michelle Scicolone, as ingredient/direction guides. She added her own modifications/changes, so the recipe is not 100% verbatim from either book.
So we didn't bake this month. It was great. I love love love baking but to have a challenge that involved deep frying was great. I don't mind to deep fry but do not do it as much because I am trying to adapt a healthier lifestyle for my family. Giggle...yes, I bake to offset the desire of frying!
So I was however, a bit intimidated because I have never fried dough. I have delayed making doughnuts because of that. This challenge showed me that it is way easier than I thought. Doughnuts are in the forecast!!
Cannoli usually are filled with a ricotta or marscapone cheese mixture. But I feel that ricotta cheese should only be in lasagne or manicotti. So I filled mine with a great whipped cream and a Chocolate Cream Patissiere. Also I didn't have Cannoli tubes, which you need to form and fry the dough to get the tube shape. Those tubes are 10 bucks at Cake Art Supply store and that was not in my budget. We had great leniency when it came to this recipe...that is why we was able to fill it with what we pleased. If we did not have the tubes, we could make them with oiled wooden sticks. Or as some did, with foil pans molded into tube shapes. I opted to do the easier choice...stack em. I present my Cannolipoleans!! (Ahem....aka stacked cannoli.)
I used a cookie cutter my Mother-in-Law had given me. I have yet to makes cookies from them...but they certainly came in handy with this challenge!
As they were frying the some would swell up like a blow fish. My 10 year old thought it was hilarious.
I use a chocolate ganache to dip the points of the Cannoli in and I decorated them with sprinkles and red decorators sugar.
They tasted good. Not sure if I would go out of my way to make them again but who knows...it provides a great dinner party dessert because Cannoli can be dressed up so pretty. And being able to fill it with what you want makes it very likable. I only did half a recipe and manage to get 6 servings.
2 cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons sugar 1 teaspoon unsweetened baking cocoa powder 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon salt 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar Approximately 1/2 cup sweet Marsala or any white or red wine you have on hand 1 large egg white Vegetable or any neutral oil for frying – about 2 quarts
1/2 cup toasted, chopped pistachio nuts, mini chocolate chips/grated chocolate and/or candied or plain zests, fruits etc.. for garnish Confectioners' sugar
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer or food processor, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, cinnamon, and salt. Stir in the oil, vinegar, and enough of the wine to make a soft dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and well blended, about 2 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge from 2 hours to overnight.
Cut the dough into two pieces. Keep the remaining dough covered while you work. Lightly flour a large cutting or pastry board and roll the dough until super thin, about 1/16 to 1/8” thick (An area of about 13 inches by 18 inches should give you that). Cut out 3 to 5-inch circles (3-inch – small/medium; 4-inch – medium/large; 5-inch;- large. Your choice). Roll the cut out circle into an oval, rolling it larger and thinner if it’s shrunk a little.
Heat 2-inches of oil in a saucepan or deep sauté pan to 350-375°F (176 - 190°C).
Cut out desired shapes with cutters or a sharp knife. Deep fry until golden brown and blistered on each side, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove from oil with wire skimmer or large slotted spoon, then place on paper towels or bags until dry and grease free. If they balloon up in the hot oil, dock them lightly prior to frying. Place on cooling rack until ready to stack with filling.
Repeat making and frying the shells with the remaining dough.
You can find out more about Cannoli and find the traditional filling recipe from Lisa Michele who hosted the DB Challenge this month! Hers look great!! Thanks for choosing this wonderful challenge!! It was my second one and my first success!
Recipe for Chocolate Creme Patissiere can be found on Joy of Baking website! I love this recipe and will be using it again and again and again!!
My Whipped Cream Recipe :~
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cornstarch
~Whip Cream at high speed in chilled bowl. add sugar, vanilla and cornstarch after cream forms. Whip until stiff~
Please note that I do not have the source of this recipe :(